Welder Salary

If you are considering a career as a welder in South Africa, you likely want to know about the salary expectations. Welding is a vital profession in many industries, including construction, transportation, and manufacturing. The demand for skilled welders is increasing, and as such, it’s essential to understand the profession’s salary expectations. In this article, we will address the various factors that influence the salary of welders in South Africa.

Understanding the Welding Profession in South Africa

Before delving into the topic of welding salaries, it’s essential to understand the various welding jobs available in South Africa. Welding involves fusing metal components using extreme heat, and it is a vital job in many industries. Some welding jobs you will come across in your job search include:

Types of Welding Jobs

The most common welding techniques are MIG (Metal Inert Gas), TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas), stick welding and flux-cored welding. Many welders also specialize in welding processes, such as pipe welding and underwater welding, which require additional training and certification.

Underwater welding, also known as hyperbaric welding, is a unique welding process that involves welding in a submerged environment. This type of welding is commonly used in the construction and maintenance of offshore oil rigs, ships, and submarines. The welding process is carried out in a dry chamber or using wet welding techniques, where the welder wears a diving suit and uses special equipment to weld underwater.

Pipe welding, on the other hand, involves welding pipes in various industries such as oil and gas, water supply, and sewage treatment. The process requires specialized skills and knowledge of the different types of pipes, welding techniques, and safety measures.

Required Skills and Qualifications

To become a welder, you must have a High School Diploma or an equivalent qualification. After completing your Grade 12, you can either enrol for a welding apprenticeship programme, where you will undergo on-the-job training, or enroll for a welding course offered by a technical and vocational education and training (TVET) college. Besides technical skills like being able to operate welding machines, other essential skills include attention to detail, good hand-eye coordination, and problem-solving abilities.

Welding is a physically demanding job that requires strength, stamina, and the ability to work in challenging environments. Welders must also have good communication skills and the ability to work well in a team.

Industry Demand and Growth

The South African welding industry is set to experience positive growth in the coming years, given its relevance in various sectors. The industries that have the most significant reliance on welding services include construction, transport, and manufacturing. According to the latest predictions by government and industry analysts, there will be a 3% increase in welding jobs over the next ten years.

The construction industry, in particular, is expected to drive the demand for welding services in South Africa. With the government’s focus on infrastructure development, there will be a need for skilled welders to work on projects such as bridges, highways, and buildings.

Transportation is another sector that relies heavily on welding services. Welding is used in the manufacturing and maintenance of vehicles, trains, and airplanes. The demand for skilled welders in the transport industry is expected to increase as the industry continues to grow.

Factors Influencing Welder Salaries in South Africa

Welding is a highly skilled profession that requires a lot of training and experience. Welders are responsible for joining metal parts together using heat and pressure. In South Africa, welding is a popular trade, and many people pursue it as a career. However, the salary a welder can earn depends on several factors.

Experience and Expertise

Experience and expertise are essential factors that determine how much a welder can earn. Welders who have been in the industry for many years and have a lot of experience can expect to earn higher salaries than those who are just starting. Employers value experience because it shows that the welder has the necessary skills to complete the job efficiently and safely.

Expertise in different welding processes and materials is also a significant factor in determining salary. Welders who can work with various materials such as aluminium, stainless steel, and carbon steel, and can use different welding processes such as TIG, MIG, and Stick welding, are in high demand and can command higher salaries.

Location and Cost of Living

The location of the job is another factor that can influence a welder’s salary. Welders who work in urban areas such as Johannesburg and Cape Town can expect to earn higher salaries than those who work in rural areas. This is because the cost of living in urban areas is generally higher, and employers need to pay their employees more to compensate for this.

However, welders who work in remote or rural areas may earn less due to a lower cost of living. Welders who work in these areas may also have to travel long distances to get to their job sites, which can be time-consuming and costly.

Employer and Industry Sector

The employer and industry sector are also significant factors that influence a welder’s salary. Welders who work for large construction firms or government entities typically earn more than those who work for small or medium-sized businesses. This is because larger companies have more resources and can afford to pay their employees higher salaries.

The industry sector that a welder works in can also affect their salary. For example, welders who work in the mining industry often command higher salaries than those who work in retail. This is because the mining industry is a high-risk industry, and welders who work in this sector need to have specialized skills and training.

Overall, there are many factors that influence the salary a welder can earn in South Africa. Welders who have a lot of experience, expertise in various welding processes and materials, and work for large companies in high-risk industries can expect to earn the highest salaries.

Average Welder Salaries in South Africa

Welding is a profession that has gained popularity over the years, and it is no surprise that the demand for welders is on the rise. Welding is a skill that requires precision, attention to detail, and a great deal of patience. In South Africa, the average salary of a welder varies depending on several factors such as experience, location, and industry. However, below are some general salary expectations for welders at various levels.

Entry-Level Welder Salaries

As an entry-level welder, you can expect to earn between R100,000 to R120,000 per annum. An entry-level welder is a welder with less than four years of experience. This salary may vary depending on the industry you are working in. For instance, if you are working in the construction industry, your salary may be lower than that of a welder working in the oil and gas industry. However, with hard work and dedication, you can quickly climb up the ranks and increase your earning potential.

Mid-Level Welder Salaries

Welders with four to seven years of experience are considered mid-level in South Africa. On average, mid-level welders earn between R120,000 to R250,000 annually. This salary range is quite broad, and it is influenced by several factors such as the industry you are working in, the location of your workplace, and your level of skill. For instance, a welder working in Johannesburg may earn more than a welder working in Cape Town due to the cost of living differences.

Senior-Level Welder Salaries

The highest paid welders in South Africa are senior-level welders with over seven years of experience. Senior-level welders can earn anything between R250,000 to R500,000 per year, depending on the various factors mentioned earlier. Senior-level welders are highly skilled and experienced, and they are often responsible for training and mentoring new welders. As a senior-level welder, you may also be required to work on complex projects that require a high level of expertise.

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Comparing Welder Salaries Across South African Cities

The welding industry is an essential part of South Africa’s economy. Welders are in high demand in various sectors, including construction, mining, and manufacturing. The salary of a welder in South Africa varies from city to city, depending on factors such as the cost of living, demand for welding services, and the level of experience of the welder.


Johannesburg is the financial hub of South Africa, and as such, it is one of the cities with the highest welding salaries. Welders in Johannesburg earn, on average, between R120,000 to R500,000 annually. The city is home to many large construction projects, including the Gautrain rapid rail system and the Sandton Skye skyscraper. Welders in Johannesburg are highly skilled and experienced, and they work on a wide range of projects, from building bridges to constructing high-rise buildings.

Aside from work, Johannesburg is also a great place to live. The city has a thriving arts and culture scene, with numerous galleries, museums, and theaters. It is also home to many excellent restaurants, cafes, and bars, making it a great place to socialize and meet new people.

Cape Town

Cape Town is one of the most livable cities globally and is also home to some of South Africa’s largest seaports. Welders in Cape Town earn, on average, between R100,000 to R250,000 annually. The city is known for its beautiful beaches, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture. Welders in Cape Town work on a range of projects, from repairing ships in the harbor to building luxury apartments in the city center.

Aside from work, Cape Town offers many opportunities for outdoor activities, such as hiking, surfing, and sailing. The city is also home to many excellent restaurants, cafes, and bars, making it a great place to unwind after a long day at work.


Durban is South Africa’s third-largest city and home to the largest container port in Africa. Welders in Durban earn, on average, between R100,000 to R180,000 per year. The city has a thriving manufacturing industry, with many large factories and industrial sites. Welders in Durban work on a range of projects, from building machinery to constructing warehouses.

Aside from work, Durban is known for its beautiful beaches and warm climate. The city is also home to many excellent restaurants, cafes, and bars, making it a great place to relax and socialize.


As the capital city of South Africa, Pretoria is home to many government institutions and embassies. The average salary for a welder in Pretoria ranges from R110,000 to R300,000 annually. Welders in Pretoria work on a range of projects, from building government buildings to constructing roads and bridges.

Aside from work, Pretoria is known for its beautiful parks and gardens, including the famous Pretoria Botanical Gardens. The city is also home to many excellent restaurants, cafes, and bars, making it a great place to unwind after a long day at work.


The welding profession is one of the most in-demand professions in South Africa. Welders play a crucial role in various sectors, and the demand for qualified welders is set to increase in the coming years. The salary of a welder in South Africa is influenced by various factors, including location, experience, and industry sector. It’s essential to research extensively before deciding on a salary expectation to ensure fair compensation for your skills and service.

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